Ice Ice Baby
By Dwip January 20, 2005, 1:39 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

I plead forgiveness for the title. But it’s sort of appropriate.

Some time back, like in December, Tali says to me hey, you should come up to Portland, hang out, see Laura and me, and see Portland. Ok, I say, give me a date and some directions, and I’ll show up for a weekend. The 15th/16th gets picked as the Days, and that’s that.

So I leave about 10am on the 15th. It’s a 2 hour drive to Portland down I-5, plus a bit more time to get to I-5 from my place, so I’m cutting it a bit thin if I want to arrive at noon, but ok.

As I’m getting in the car, I scrape a very very thin film of ice off my side windows. Well, I say, it’s probably just from the higher elevation we’re at. Ought to be ok in the lowlands.

Turns out that it more or less is, except that it’s raining, and my wipers are only half dealing with it for some reason. Odd, but ok. Too, there’s like nobody on the road north, so I’m making great time. This is good, I figure.

So I’m seeing these signs saying “No trucks past Wilsonville” all over the place, and I’m thinking that that’s slightly iffy, but ok. And, then, quite suddenly, I hit the north edge of Wilsonville, and everything just stops dead. Trucks are stopped, and cars are getting through at like 5 mph. And there’s, well, slush on the side of the road.

Danger, Dwip Robinson. Danger.

But I am, after all, me, and I did say I’d be there, so on we go. And the road’s sort of slushy, and cars are going slow, and…whoops, that was a patch of ice. Hrm. And this is about the time when I have the presence of mind to glance down and notice that my wipers are covered in like half an inch of ice. Ruh-roh.

Danger, Dwip Robinson. Danger.

But I keep going, at the blazing speed of 20 mph, slightly down from the 75 mph I was doing earlier. And then I hit Portland. Which has, you know, a lot of people. And I’ve of course never driven in Portland before. So I get to drive over a lot of iced-over freeway bridges, through these like three-layer bridges and shit that nobody should ever need to build for any reason, and I’m still going like 30 mph even though it’s just me and Randafool on the road.

Fortunately for me, the I-5 exit to get to Tali’s is really easy to spot. Unfortunately for me, I read the directions wrong, turned wrong off the exit, and got lost. This became suddenly apparent when this shopping mall showed up, and I’m like “Um….no.” So I got to try to find my way to the right street, hampered by the fact that there’s no street signs like, anywhere in this part of town. But eventually I do find the right street, and I show up, and Tali is rather surprised to see me, figuring me to be much saner and smarter than I actually am. But I question the ability of engineers to check for sanity, so it’s all good.

So all things considered, it’s not like we were going to be going anywhere, so Monopoly was played and I broke my 10 year or so losing streak, we watch movies, and generally hung out and had a good time and hoped it would clear up in the morning.

The next morning came, and after properly waking up, we went out to observe the car damage. And the front of my car looked about like this. Wipers about like this. There were a few icicles on the mirrors. And of course the ever popular iced-over antenna. Tali’s car, having sat there all night, was somewhat worse, and getting the ice off involved a bit of skating to accomplish. I realize you Midwest/East Coast types are all laughing at us by now, but I’d like to point out that our weather, ice or no, is still way better than what you people think of as weather.

In any case, Tali’s car eventually worked, whereupon Tali took me through Portland, where we saw interesting things. We arrived at Powell’s, which for the uncultured types in the audience, is a bookstore. But when you say bookstore, you have to think of it as like being THE bookstore. The Holy Grail of bookstores. The bookstore to end all bookstores. Floor to ceiling bookshelves as far as you could wander. I saw books in there that I hadn’t seen in 10 or 15 years. It was spectacular. The 40 minutes we were in there cost me like $50, but it was worth it. You do not, however, want to see my reading list these days. You just don’t.

Upon leaving, Tali expressed amazement with my non-overly browsing ways, whereupon I expounded to her my Theory of Shopping, which goes like this. Women, as we all have been taught from early childhood, love to shop. They will generally browse random stores if given half the chance, just for the dubious pleasure of browsing. Men, on the other hand, have been exposed to far too much of this. So when they shop, they pretty much know what they want, they go in, and they get it, with a minimum of browsing. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t exceptions, and we did of course browse a bit, but knowing what you want is a wonderful thing.

I should also point out that at random intervals during the drive to pick up Laura, I would perk up, clap my hands in glee, and exclaim things like “Bookstore! Happy! Good!” and “Books! Shiny! Glee! Happy!” in much the same tone as a small child being given a great new toy.

So we picked up Laura, and we went to eat at this random pasta place, which happened to be near the project Tali’s working, so we saw that too, and that was neat. And then we proceeded to catch up on about a year’s worth of noncorrespondance, which meant I got to tell all my good Europe stories again, which was fun.

And then I drove home, which since it had been warming up all day, was perfectly ok.

As an addendum to this whole story, I went out to run Tuesday, and was like “Say, it’s fairly warm out here for January. Oh well. No hat and gloves today.” Kept the sweatshirt. Did the whole running thing, whereupon I’m like “Goddamn it’s hot out here!” If you were to picture me bursting through the door and going for the water faucet in much the same way as a dying desert traveller might, you wouldn’t be far from the mark.

Later, Mom told me it was like 70 out.

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Comments on Ice Ice Baby
avatar Comment by Regina #1
January 20, 2005 at 6:07 pm

We had the same weather, except in reverse order. And yay pictures.

avatar Comment by Whir #2
January 20, 2005 at 10:59 pm

Okay, seriously, dude. If you think your car was bad… Seriously, seriously. I almost hate you for how unbad your car was then as compared to my Jeep EVERY morning.

You can your 70F can die too.

avatar Comment by Marechal #3
January 21, 2005 at 3:05 pm

Let me tell YOU about ice, my friend . . . indeed!